Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Cheat" turducken

A couple of years ago, I made a Turducken. No no no, you don't understand... I MADE it... 3 stuffings from scratch, 3 birds, deboned... it was a feat that took 3 days and cost a bunch of money. It was worth it... I fed a good lot of friends, and felt like I climbed a culinary mountain. I am asked if I will ever do it again. I might, but not for years.

A little while after the epic Turducken, Feast, a local food magazine here in St. Louis, posted local chef Cassie Vire's version of a Turducken. Much simpler than an actual Turducken, she used the turkey breast, duck breast and some chicken sausage and made a roulade. Ummm... brilliant. It's been in the back of my mind since I saw it, so when I had the opportunity to cook Thanksgiving for my friends this year, I knew this "Cheat" would be the main course.

I hesitate to post Thanksgiving so soon after Thanksgiving... you are all done with that, right? But this was so yummy and relatively easy to make, I wouldn't hesitate to make it for dinner parties all fall and winter long! It's not as heavy as a traditional Turducken, in that it uses the leaner meats and no stuffing. Plus, it's so fun, and neat to see come together. It'll impress your guests, for sure.

I adjusted the recipe and steps a bit, as reflected below. Not much, though. I had trouble with my turkey breast. I unwrapped it and it was bundled in a net. I think it was meant to be cooked in that net. When I took the net off I found that the meat was in several mangled pieces... not ideal for rolling. In Cassie's recipe, you roll the duck and chicken up in the turkey breast, then wrap it all in bacon. Since my turkey was useless for holding together, I put the mat of bacon down first, and used that to keep everything together. It didn't turn out as pretty or tight as hers, but still, neato! She also browned hers in a skillet first. I was not secure in the construction of mine, so I skipped this step, figuring the less I moved it, the better. It cooked fine this way... maybe not as crunchy as hers.

Cassie Vire's Cheat Turducken

1 boneless, skinless turkey breast, brined, patted dry
2 boneless, skinless wild duck breasts, soaked in milk overnight, patted dry
2 Tbsp ground sage
1 Tbsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 chicken-apple sausages
12-16 slices bacon
butcher's twine

Preheat oven to 325°F. Place turkey breast on a large cutting board and cover with a large piece of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, gently pound the turkey to an even ¼-inch thickness. Do the same with the duck breasts.

Lay out the bacon on a sheet of plastic wrap or foil, slightly overlapping, so that you have "mat" of bacon as wide as the flattened breasts. Place the flattened turkey breast on top of the bacon, centered. Place the flattened duck breasts on top of the turkey, and the chicken sausages on top of the duck. Carefully, using the plastic wrap or foil and the bacon, roll everything up into a roulade. Once rolled, carefully tie up with Butchers twine to secure.

Bake on a roasting rack in a casserole dish or roasting pan for about 90 minutes, until the internal temp reaches 165ยบ when tested with a meat thermometer. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Related posts from the Archives and Elsewhere:

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Ham and Sage Butter (also served this at Friendsgiving)
Parsnip Gratin (and this!)
Listen to Stewed STL's interview with Cassie Vires
Food Blog Mafia's Christmas
Skank Ham featuring Jive Turkey (and another)


Kimberly said...

Very cool ... and approachable! Adding this to my "to make" list!

Kathy G said...

Thanks for the information. I saw the article in Feast last year, and tore out the page, but never got around to making it and lost the recipe.

Renee said...

That is a pretty cool roast, Stef!

Every Little Thing said...

Wow that's a really neat way to do it. So intimidating to me, but I want to try it sometime!